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26th November 2020

Sky is the limit

Andy Braybrook’s life changed after a near-fatal accident left him permanently paralysed. Three years after his road collision, he is now back on the road and setting his sights even higher.

Andy’s story started on the first fine spring day of 2017. “My brother, Chris, and I decided to take our motorbikes out for the afternoon,” he tells This Is MedTech. “Unfortunately, on the route home I was involved in a collision with a car; luckily Chris narrowly avoided it.”

“The local air ambulance rushed me straight to the hospital,” Andy explains. “I had two cardiac arrests on board and received two blood transfusions. It was this speed, coupled with the expertise and capabilities of the air ambulance crew that saved my life,” he asserts.

In hospital, Andy emerged from the deepest level of coma on the medical scale and started his gradual journey of rehabilitation as he moved from intensive care to high-dependency, and then to a specialist spinal unit, before being discharged from his local hospital.

During his 10 months in hospital he was treated with numerous pieces of medical technology, from chest drains and feeding tubes, to a ventilator that helped his lungs work. Computerised tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans also helped assess the extent of Andy’s injuries.

Technology again helped Andy to look to the future once he was back at home. “Once I had finally taken receipt of my lightweight, rigid-frame wheelchair and I had begun to look at adapted motor vehicles, I was starting to see the positives that the future held,” he explains. “My house has since been made accessible and my car has now been adapted, allowing a level of independence.”

The adaptations complement his rehabilitation regimen, which includes physio and hydrotherapy sessions. And the medical equipment aids him day-to-day, from hand splints, compression stockings and protector boots to a profiling medical bed and standing frame.

Three years after the accident, Andy is not only back on the road but is also setting his sights higher still, with a planned flying lesson at an accessible flight school. “Even before my accident I couldn’t think of a better feeling of freedom,” says Andy.